What I Wish People Knew About My Job as a COTA
When many people hear the words “Occupational Therapy”, they think that I am here to help find them a job. Well, not quite.
Instead of linking the word “occupation” with job, think of it more as, “What occupies your time?”, “What do you do on a daily basis?”, and “What skills do you need to complete these activities?”
Occupational therapy is one of those careers that so many people don’t know about, unless a loved one or they, themselves have received OT. I’m so often asked, “What do you actually do?” And although this is just a small glance at what OT offers- I want to shine some light on some of the services that we provide, and hopefully inspire you to take a deeper look at OT.
Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that works across the lifespan (birth to death) where practitioners focus on teaching and/or remediating daily life skills.
We want to help you live life to its fullest!
Whether teaching and building new skills with children to increase their independence in school and community settings, or re-teaching and modifying tasks for individuals after an accident or illness, OT has you covered!
One of the things that I really love about OT is that there are so many niches for practitioners to find their calling.
Because OT works across the lifespan, it offers a ton of career positions, and so many areas for practitioners to really find their passion. From private pediatric clinics, to work hardening and return to work settings, from schools to hospitals, and psychiatric hospitals to skilled nursing facilities, OT plays a huge role in each setting.
My personal passion is working with kids, so I would like to expand a little more on what OT looks like in regard to this. In a pediatric setting, a child is referred (from a physician) for an OT evaluation and an occupational therapist conducts a formal evaluation to determine if the child needs OT services. If the child qualifies for services, the OT then sets specific goals for the patient (depending on which areas they need assistance) and a treatment plan is made. The OT or COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant) then creates and carries out specific treatments for the individual to work toward their specific goals.
My favorite part about working in a pediatric setting is that we reach these goals through play- and we have fun doing it!
Kids love to come to therapy because to them, it’s just fun and games. What they don’t realize is that their practitioner has selected specific games and activities to work on their specific goals - social skills, fine motor skills, motor praxis, and/or sensory processing (just to name a few!).
A child’s main occupation is play- and we do our best to center our treatment around this, which in turn, makes the treatment more fun for everyone involved.
If you would like to meet Katie, or ask her some questions, don't hesitate to call us at 253.237.3405 to set up a discovery visit!